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New Left Review I/17, Winter 1962

Joyce Jeronty

The Top And The Bottom

The Old Iron Bridge still made a shortcut through from Slippy Lane to a steep climb called the Ping-Pong by the residents centred around the Parkside Baths. Besides the swimming pool, it catered for people without bathrooms, and got busier towards weekend with Latvians lodging nearby and coloured workers dwarfed by the passing townsfolk. The Slippy Laneites unable to make it this week, or last, for various reasons, brought the tin-bath up out of the cellar and kept up the traditions, but complainingly. You caught cold on the way back, they said. It was a steep climb up the Ping-Pong, they said. Across that old Iron Bridge in the dark, well— So that when the new bus route started up going round the town way up to Parkside Baths, the old way got torn off the calendar, and the young ones clattered up the top-deck ragging each other over pinching the soap, and yelling the conductor to Stop at the Spa.

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Joyce Jeronty, ‘The Top and The Bottom’, NLR I/17: £3

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